Haere mai, Afio maia
Malo e me’a mai
Turou mai, Ulufale mai
Ni sa bula vinaka, Ulu tons mai, Welcome.
Sir Keith Park is a school where all learners are known, valued, and celebrated.
Sir Keith Park School is a special school for children and young people who have intellectual disabilities or complex special needs.
We are situated in Favona, a suburb of Auckland City, New Zealand.
We provide specialist programmes for students from the ages of 5 to 21 years.
We are a MOVE model site . You are welcome to visit us to see programmes in action, or contact us for support.
If you have any complaints or concerns please click here
“Educating learners with special needs and empowering them to reach their potential.”
Our logo was designed specifically for us by Michael Moke. These important aspects of Our Turangawaewae have been incorporated within the design...
Situated in Te Ika a Maui (North Island of New Zealand), Mangere and its surrounding area has been occupied and cultivated since at least the 12th century, as told in the oral history of the local iwi (Te Wai o Hua), and supported by archaeological investigations and radiocarbon data estimates. Te Wai o Hua (the descendants of Nga Oho people) have one of the oldest genealogy in Auckland. The local Maori are descendants to Hape who came here prior to the arrival of the Tainui waka.
Hape was a great chief, revered to this day as one of the founders of the Tainui Iwi, and he was probably one of their early Tohunga or Priests. Some of the stories suggest he was a seer or mystic with magical powers, possibly even a demi-god. Hape had a disability - his name literally means 'club foot' although it can also mean 'rejected' or 'left behind'.
Following the discovery of Aotearoa, plans were made in the ancestral homeland of Hawaiki to settle the new land. When the Tainui waka was about to set sail, only people in the best physical condition were selected. Due to his clubbed foot, Hape was not one of those selected, and he was left behind in Hawaiki. The voyage of the waka to Aotearoa was long and arduous, most of those on board forgot about Hape. As the people disembarked on the shores of the Waitemata Harbour they could see a man standing on a distant hill. It was Hape, he had used his powers to summon a giant stingray to transport him; he had arrived in Aotearoa weeks earlier. He stood on the ridge and called out a karanga to those on the beach. To this day, the stingray, or Kaiwhare, is the guardian of the Manukau Harbour.
A Kaitiaki is a guardian. As mentioned above, the stingray (Kaiwhare) is the guardian of the Manukau Harbour. Birds were the original Tangata Whenua of Aotearoa, and the hawk has featured prominently in the oral traditions of Tainui. Kahu Pokere (black harrier hawk) is another kaitiaki of this area. The hawk in flight conveys strength and purpose, and is viewed as a powerful guardian of the land. Mangere sports teams have used the hawk for their logo (e.g. Mangere East Hawks League / Mangere Hawks Netball). Our previous logo featured a hawk.
Due to the close proximity of the airport, schools in the local area mostly have names associated with aviation. Our school was named after Air Chief Marshall, Sir Keith Park, an extraordinary New Zealander – an unsung hero - in recognition of his charitable work. Sir Keith Park was also influential in the Auckland Airports being sited in Mangere. Read more about this special man ...
At the heart of our school are our people. Mangere, with its strong historical and family associations, has morphed into a home for a diverse range of people from different cultures. Reflective of our wider community, Sir Keith Park School's learners identify with the Pacific Peoples ethnic group (Samoan, Tongan, Cook Island, Niuean, Tokelaun, Fijian, Tuvaluan); NZ Maori; NZ European, and Asian.
Like Hape, our kaitiaki and Sir Keith Park, our learners journey forward drawing on their resilience, perseverance, and determination.
Sir Keith Park GCB, KBE, MC, DFC, DCL
1892 – 1975: Soldier, military aviator and leader, company representative, local politician
Keith Rodney Park was a decorated First World War fighter pilot who carved out a prestigious career in the Royal Air Force (RAF). He played a pivotal role in the defense of London and south-east England during the Battle of Britain.
Born in Thames on 15 June 1892, Park was educated at Kings College, Auckland and Otago Boys High School, Dunedin. At the age of 19 he joined the Union Steam Ship Company as a cadet purser – earning the nickname ‘Skipper’ among friends and family.
Park enlisted in the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) in December 1916. His performance in the First World War earned him two Military Crosses and a Distinguished Flying Cross. During the interwar years Park held various command and staff postings in
the United Kingdom and overseas. Together with Air Chief Marshal Sir Hugh Dowding, Park developed a comprehensive air defense system involving the use of high-speed, heavily armed fighter aircraft (Hawker Hurricanes and Supermarine
Spitfires) in combination with new radio and radar equipment.
Promoted to air vice-marshal in April 1940, Park was given command of No. 11 Group, responsible for the defense of London and south-east England. He developed a reputation as a ‘hands-on’ leader, often flying his personal Hurricane to embattled airfields to inspire his hard-pressed pilots. He was knighted in 1942 for his role in the defense of Malta. Lord Tedder (Marshall of the Royal Airforce) said of Keith Park: “If ever a man won the Battle of Britain, he did I don’t believe it is realised how much that one man, with his leadership, his calm judgement, and his skill did to save not only this country, but the world.”
Park retired from the RAF in 1946 as air chief marshal and moved back to Auckland.
In 1951, Park became chairman of the Auckland International Airport Committee. By 1955 he had persuaded a reluctant government to purchase a site at Mangere.
Construction began in 1960 and the airport opened in 1966.
Park served three terms (1962–71) as an Auckland city Councillor, and was active in the New Zealand Foundation for the Blind, the New Zealand Epilepsy Association, and the King George V Children’s Health Camp, Pakuranga.
Sir Keith Park died in Auckland on 6 February 1975, aged 82. Our school (which opened in 1975) is named in his honour, as is a section of the Auckland Museum of Transport and Technology (MOTAT).
A statue of Sir Keith Park (pictured) was unveiled in Waterloo Place, London, on 15 September 2010 - the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain.
Learn more about Sir Keith Park:
Principal / Tumuaki
Board of Trustees Presiding Member